|The Williamite guns signal the start of the battle|
The opening shots of our first day at Aughrim were fired by General Ginkel's three positional guns on Urraghry Hill and aimed at the Jacobite troops on the northern slope of Kilcommodan Hill and in the lower ground between that point and Aughrim village. Although these salvoes were initially ineffective the guns soon began to find their mark. The Foot Guards battalions suffered particularly badly from the continuous pounding over a period of hours. The lighter Jacobite guns were unable to find a suitable response.
|Jacobite defence along the Tristuan Stream|
Jacobite movement for the first 4-6 turns was minimal and involved some redressing of the lines in the centre. Their most significant demonstration was on the right around the Tristuan Stream. Some dragoons on the hostile side of the bog were brought back west behind the morass. The brigade of Sir Maurice Eustace was also moved to protect the Attibrassil bridge area.
|The Williamite right advances towards the Melehan stream|
The Williamites moved off boldly. On the right, the entire wing of Horse advanced closer to the morass around the Melehan stream and halted so that the brigade commanded by Hamilton could first begin to pressurize the enemy between Aughrim and Kilcommodan before the Horse attempted anything spectacular.
|The Coldstream Guards, Hanmer's and Erle's engage|
The Coldstream Guards, Erle's and Hanmer's marched forward to the hedgerows challenging the detachments of commanded shot lining these natural obstacles. In our awe at the spectacular nature of the game we Jacobites forgot to fire on the first turn leaving the Williamites both bemused and amused! We made up for it in the second round though!
|The Huguenots advance towards Bloody Hollow|
On the Williamite left the Huguenot brigade made a bold thrust towards Bloody Hollow supported by the Guard Danish brigade and the masses of Dutch Horse and dragoons of the left wing.
|The commanded shot give good account of themselves|
The battle to clear the defended hedgerows which extended for about 40% of the frontage of the table became a quite desperate affair. The independent detachments gave tremendous account of themselves holding up their opponents for several turns as the Williamite battalions either refused to charge, took losses or failed to gain enough command percentage for movement.
|Coldstream Guards breakthrough the hedges|
When at last, led by the Coldstream Guards the bayonet charges started to go in, the musketeers fought well or fell back in order. An untidy scrabble across the hedges ensued with one battalion; Erle's, breaking in panic and routing when they came under artillery fire. The Guards were the first through but intense fighting for control of the southern end of the hedgerows continued for over 8 turns with the remaining solitary detachment of Jacobites pouring fire into the Huguenots and Dutch causing at least three battalions to fall back in panic. This created a very ragged advance.
|Intense action along the morass near Attibrassil|
On the Jacobite right the fire fight along the Tristuan stream grew in intensity as more units on both sides were sucked in. Ginkel dismounted Eppinger's to support advanced detachments of Dutch and Irish dragoons in concentrating their efforts against the three Jacobite dragoons regiments who were in open order and dotted amongst the marshes and trees. Ultimately, the Williamites ordered forward the Gard te Paard to break through across the narrow Attibrassil bridge. Their column punched its way right to the southern tip of Kilcommodan Hill before being wiped out in counter attacks from Prendergast's Regiment and heavy musketry.
This sacrifice opened the way across the morass on the southern flank although along a slender pathway as most of the remainder of the front held in this sector. What followed was a grinding see-saw battle with sustained musketry which progressively wore down first the Huguenots, then the Danish Guards brigade and dragoons with the Jacobites too suffering heavily.
|Tyrconnel's ride to their death|
On the opposite flank Hamilton's brigade had stopped in open ground when the Jacobites had brought forward Lord Abercorn's Brigade of Horse from behind Aughrim village. With their own Horse penned in behind the morass of the Melehan water, the Williamite infantry was held beyond enemy musketry range and checked by the advancing cavalry. Tyrconnel's Regiment launched a bold charge against the Earl of Bath's Regiment but were decimated on the approach and beaten back when the infantry stood firm in the melee. More Horse were brought up from Galmoy's Brigade to try and press home a successful attack but these took time to get into position for a charge.
|The Coldstream Guards push for Kilcommodan but are ultimately repulsed|
Meanwhile the Coldstream Guards had pushed on as far as the foot of Kilcommodan Hill. Their brigade mates of Sir John Hanmer's Regiment were in support with Erle's Regiment many hundreds of yards back having been rallied by Ginkel and a party of senior officers. 'Overkirke's Overkill' we had nicknamed that!
The Jacobite left centre had advanced halfway down the hill and the regiments of Grace and O'Connell broke the Guards in a sharp fire fight. This rout took with it Hanmer's Regiment leaving Thomas Erle's Regiment, now back in the line as the solitary tenuous foothold on the lower slope of Kilcommodan.
The first bold attempt to cross the causeway was made by a squadron of Oxford's Blews but they were thrown back in a counter charge by a squadron of Lord Abercorn's Horse.
|Galmoy's ride to glory! Hamilton's were overwhelmed by this charge|
The final act of our opening session was a spectacular charge by Lord Galmoy's Regiment which rode down and destroyed Hamilton's Foot. The Jacobite Horse rallied back leaving us breathless and the mouth watering prospect of picking the game up in a part 2.
The Tristuan Stream had been crossed and a fragile bridgehead achieved by dragoons and the Gard te Paard. The Huguenots had failed to push through Bloody Hollow and been repulsed. Fresh Danish infantry were being kept at bay by a hot fire from Jacobite dragoons and infantry.
The hedgerows were at last cleared but the first brigade to the foot of Kilcommodan Hill had been broken and was in retreat whilst on the right the English Brigade of Hamilton had been checked.
|Oxford's try to force the causeway but are unsuccessful|
Williamite attempts to cross the Melehan at Aughrim Castle had been rebuffed.
Come back for part 2 of the battle report.. cavalry charges galore!